I am a Domestic Goddess Mama. My domain is kitchen efficiency and cost-cutting. I am Empress of Living Simple, Tsarina of Multitasking, Duchess of DIY, Baroness of Budgeting.
To achieve all those, I’ve created 2-4-1 recipes. Entrees are repurposed for several dishes, so I get twice the meals for half the work. I use once-a-week cooking strategies, doing the bulk of my cooking on Sunday when I have the most time, for the week ahead. Here’s a weekly meal planner that serves six people with seven dinners. There are usually lunch leftovers. These recipes feature lighter calorie options and are very healthy.
–Roast two extra large chickens.
–Steam two pounds jasmine rice.
–Boil two pounds noodles (any kind but we prefer veggie farfalle).
–Fry five pounds ground beef (drain grease, rinse, drain and repeat. This cuts fat).
–Boil five pounds potatoes, skin on (that’s where vitamins are!)
–Steam five pounds pre-cut veggies (broccoli and cauliflower crowns, carrots). Buying pre-cut saves because there’s less waste of food and time.
–Pare and bake butternut squash.
–Make mirepoix (fresh cut vegetable medley). Chop five cups total green peppers, mushrooms, carrots, celery and onions (my version of mirepox). Store in fridge.
–Serve chicken, potatoes, veggies. Package and refrigerate the rest, including leftover chicken carcass.
Monday–Crazy-Easy Pasta Strata
–Spray 9×13 baking pan with olive oil pan spray.
–Place half cold noodles in bottom. You can also use uncooked pasta if you didn’t have time to boil.
–Blend one third ground beef, jar of pasta sauce and 1 cup mirepoix. Add garlic, basil and oregano. Pour over pasta.
–Mix two eggs, 1 cup Parmesan and three cups fat-free cottage cheese. Pour over meat. Sprinkle eight ounces shredded mozzarella cheese.
–Bake at 425 till bubbly.
Tuesday–Soul-Good Chicken Noodle Soup
–Remove bones, skin and icky stuff from chicken frame.
–Simmer with one cup mire poix, plus garlic, pepper, sage, bay leaf, rosemary, oregano, salt-free Spike, file gumbo and Cajun hot pepper blend.
–To make like gumbo, add a little dissolved roux, Tabasco sauce and frozen okra and sliced andouille sausage.
–Add remaining noodles and two pounds cooked vegetables and one can green chilies.
Wednesday–On-the-Go Shepherd’s Pie
–Blend 1/3 ground beef, one cup mirepoix and two pounds cooked vegetables, one large 26 ounce can reduced fat mushroom soup. Slice remaining potatoes over meat. Spray with cooking spray. Add French onions, rosemary, garlic and pepper. Bake till heated.
Thursday–Speedie-O Indian Chicken Masala
–In sauce pan, blend cubed squash, one cup leftover chicken, mirepoix, one bag frozen okra, one can coconut milk, garam masala, ginger and curry powder. Serve over cooked rice.
Friday– Busy Day Burritos
–Blend remaining ground beef and mirepoix with lime juice, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, garlic, oregano and Hungarian hot pepper.
–Add 16 ounce jar salsa and rice.
–Fill burrito or corn shells with mixture, lay seam side down in coated baking dish.
–Pour one can enchilada sauce and one jar salsa over burritos.
–Bake. Remove from oven. Cover with 1 cup shredded cheese. Bake for five minutes till melted.
–Serve with lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream or guacamole.
Saturday– Use up leftovers or make soupcon soup. Mix two cans chicken noodle soup, two cans tuna, one can peas, one can carrots and any leftover ingredients. Pour over toast.
You can also make all these meals on one days and freeze them.